Richard Oliff: I’d be proud to swear my allegiances

Should we all have the opportunity to swear allegiance to Queen and country, asks Richard
Should we all have the opportunity to swear allegiance to Queen and country, asks Richard

How do I prove my citizenship or right to live in the United Kingdom?

A question prompted by last week’s pictures of newly accepted immigrants as they received their certificates of naturalisation following their passing of tests, swearing of oaths and hearty rendition of the national anthem.

I have a birth certificate, national insurance card, driving licence and passport.

Only one of these is necessary for the purpose.

National identity cards are used in many countries as evidence of naturalisation, which has proved to be somewhat controversial during the past few years.

However, unlike all those that are successful immigrants to these shores, I have never sworn the necessary oaths of allegiance or passed the relevant required tests for qualification.

Members of Parliament swear allegiance to the Queen, as do the Armed Forces and the Police, yet members of society over who they legislate or protect rarely have the opportunity to do the same.

In my childhood there were occasions when I had seriously, following a period of training and induction, sworn allegiance to the crown and country as a boy scout or sea cadet, yet there is something inside me that would like to re-affirm my status as a British citizen: akin perhaps to those who choose to renew their wedding vows.

I know I don’t need to, but I feel that there ought to be a process that allows those born here to have the choice.

Having spent a great deal of time working abroad, and having spent five years proving my worthiness to simply live and work in Canada (not citizenship you understand), I can honestly say, that for all its faults, there is no finer place on this earth in which to settle than the UK.

Not everyone feels this way, which is their right; however, it’s surely my prerogative to fully commit to where I live.